Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baker's Mill !!

The above picture was shot from our balcony here in the Fort Howe Building and captures the tourist boat , Voyageur , about to turn the bend of the Saint John River at Miller's ( Robertson's) Point heading up river and through The Narrows towards Grand Bay. The treetops of the Old North End appear in the foreground at the bottom of the photo whereas to the right is Miller's (Robertson's) Point , the northwestern tip of Pokiok ..... and on the far side of the river rises the presqu' ├«le (almost an island) of Greenhead. The Point bears two names , one more recent than the other ..... since Charles Miller ran a mill at the nearby Pokiok Quarry from the end of the 19th well into the 20th century .......while history tells us that Robert Robertson was the first settler in Pokiok , having built his house on a cliff dominating the Narrows just around the Point. Most local folks ...... especially those with river savvy .... opt for Miller's Point.

When I was a youngster back in the 1940s that whole Greenhead shoreline that appears in the picture was very different. The ruins of the old Baker's sawmill and lime kiln were still quite visible .... especially a very tall smoke stack which dominated the region..... and the decaying wharf to boot ! There were buildings and even a few old homes where workers lived. But nowadays none of the former glory of the hustle bustle of the once enterprising mill and kiln that employed from 30 to 40 breadwinners is visible ......this mill which had once kept the population of Randolph, Kingsville and part of Milford alive during the harrowing times of the late 1800s through the early half of the 1900s had crumbled into oblivion leaving no traces behind ........ or had it ?   

As I sit here having my morning coffee I have a panoramic view of the whole area from nine storeys up. The above picture falls within my range of vision and  , although I recently underwent eye surgery to have some bada$$ cataracts removed , I still can't zoom in so well as Rebekah's high-powered camera. To shorten a very long story ...... I had been sitting there for the last year and a half wondering what that whole shoreline of Greenhead looked like up close because all I could see from here were trees and thick undergrowth...... even with my binoculars ! Sooooo I called over Rebekah and asked her to give me a headstart of about an hour .... and to start shooting from our balcony at 12:20 exactly and to keep on shooting with full zoom for about ten minutes. I specified to aim mainly a bit to the left of that big white blob ...... which I suspected to be limestone in some form........... and off I went !! I had been itching to do this for quite some time so I followed Nike's advice JUST DO IT !

JUST DID IT !! And there I am one hour later to the left of the white blob.... standing on a rock wearing a white T-shirt........ roughly 5 to 6 kilometers... as the crow theoretically should fly .....from our balcony .....and I shall write up a full report for my faithful readers in my next post ........ mentioning , of course , my perilous trek through the muck and mire of mosquito-infested swamps ........ slimy lamper eels slithering around my bare feet , over hill and down dale , thorny thickets and brambles tearing away at my naked arms ........ yet onward I trudged until I reached the ruins of Baker's Mill.


  1. Gerry:
    Your posts are most interesting.... You are doing a fantastic job. Having returned home to Saint John, also, only 3 years ago, it makes me want to rediscover and explore more of God's country that I left behind for the last 50 years.

  2. Thank you so much , Barb ... right you are about there being so much to see around here. Maybe a brisk hike out to Robertson's Lake this winter once the ground has frozen up a bit more and before the deep snow falls might bring back a few memories.... and it's good for the health of body and mind to boot !